Sieng Chanthea again showed his knack for finding the back of the net, scoring a superb hat-trick yesterday evening in an irrepressible performance for the Cambodia Under-15s, a 4-0 romp in their second group B match against the Philippines in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) under-15 Youth Championships in Thailand.
The Young Koupreys had slipped to a 2-1 defeat to highly fancied Vietnam in their competition opener on Monday and needed a result to get their campaign back on track.
Chanthea’s first came just eight minutes into the game, the 14-year old Football Federation of Cambodia Academy prospect bursting clear on the right to bury a low strike inside the far post. His second came five minutes later, a tap-in from just inside the box after finding himself unmarked and in acres of space.
Cambodia continuing to pile forward with intent and their perseverance was soon rewarded, a third going in seconds before the 20th minute. Ros Darapich volleyed the ball home after Chanthea, in the thick of the action once more, teed up the youngster for the game’s third.
Chanthea picked up where he left off after the second half restart, superbly completing his hat-trick in the 48th minute, latching on to a Darapich pass, beating the Philippine defender for pace and rifling home Cambodia’s fourth.
The manner of defeat was a blow to Pinoy fans whose seniors boast Asean’s highest FIFA ranking at senior level but have a woeful record at youth level.
Cambodia’s third group game takes place tomorrow afternoon and pits them against Timor Leste. The young Angkor Warriors will be confident of adding to yesterday’s handsome victory as they chase one of only two qualification spots in the group.
Earlier in the day, and elsewhere in group B, Vietnam built on their opening day win over Cambodia with a 2-1 win over Brunei, Nguyen Quoc Hoang scoring a last minute winner to save Vietnam’s blushes.
Malaysia added to their Monday win with a 2-0 defeat of lowly Timor Leste – the result putting them firmly at the top of the group B tree ahead of second-placed Vietnam on goal difference.
Cambodia sit in third with one win and one loss to their credit.
On Tuesday, and in group A, Myanmar had picked up their first three points of the competition after a 2-0 defeat of Laos. Earlier, competition hosts Thailand made it two wins out of two when they beat Indonesia 1-0 to take the lead in the group, while defending champs Australia recovered from their opening day loss to Thailand with an 8-0 humiliation of Singapore in the competition’s highest scoring game so far.